An anonymous reader writes "A kind soul known as Backdoor Santa has posted graphs purportedly showing traffic through TATA, one of Comcast's transit providers. The graphs of throughput for a day and month, respectively, show that Comcast chooses to run congested links rather than buy more capacity. Keeping their links full may ensure that content providers must pay to colocate within Comcast's network. The graphs also show a traffic ratio far from 1:1, which has implications for the validity of its arguments with Level (3) last month."
Tootech writes with this snippet from NPR: "A Colorado sheriff's online database mistakenly revealed the identities of confidential drug informants and listed phone numbers, addresses and Social Security numbers of suspects, victims and others interviewed during criminal investigations, authorities said. The breach potentially affects some 200,000 people, and Mesa County sheriff's deputies have been sifting through the database to determine who, if anyone, is in jeopardy. ... The FBI and Google Inc. are trying to determine who accessed the database, the sheriff said. Their concern: That someone may have copied it and could post it, WikiLeaks-style, on the Internet. 'The truth is, once it's been out there and on the Internet and copied, you're never going to regain total control,' Hilkey said. Thousands of pages of confidential information were vulnerable from April until Nov. 24, when someone notified authorities after finding their name on the Internet. Officials said the database was accessed from within the United States, as well as outside the country, before it was removed from the server."
Pickens writes "The Washington Post reports that Ukraine plans to open up the sealed zone around the Chernobyl reactor to visitors who wish to learn more about the tragedy that occurred nearly a quarter of a century ago. Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman Yulia Yershova says experts are developing travel routes that will be both medically safe and informative. 'There are things to see there if one follows the official route and doesn't stray away from the group,' says Yershova. Though it is a very sad story.' The ministry also says it hopes to finish building a new safer shell for the exploded reactor by 2015 that will cover the original iron-and-concrete structure hastily built over the reactor that has been leaking radiation, cracking and threatening to collapse. About 2,500 employees maintain the remains of the now-closed nuclear plant, working in shifts to minimize their exposure to radiation and several hundred evacuees have returned to their villages in the area despite a government ban."
digitaldc writes "Pollution in Beijing was so bad Friday the US embassy, which has been independently monitoring air quality, ran out of conventional adjectives to describe it, at one point saying it was 'crazy bad.' The embassy later deleted the phrase, saying it was an 'incorrect' description and it would revise the language to use when the air quality index goes above 500, its highest point and a level considered hazardous for all people by US standards. The hazardous haze has forced schools to stop outdoor exercises, and health experts asked residents, especially those with respiratory problems, the elderly and children, to stay indoors."
Roll-out your own credit union for geeks. I'd be interested in a bank with the services you've described. I'm absolutely sick of big banks and their big fees for even minor infractions.
itwbennett writes "After a networking error first reported on Wednesday last week caused computers in Chile and the US to come under the control of a system that censors the Internet in China, the 'root DNS server associated with the networking problems has been disconnected from the Internet,' writes Robert McMillan. The server's operator, Netnod, has 'withdrawn route announcements' made by the server, according to company CEO Kurt Lindqvist."
eldavojohn writes "Activision has announced new Call of Duty titles while fired Infinity Ward Developer leads Jason West and Vince Zampella sue them for the rights to the name. According to Activision, 'The company intends to expand the Call of Duty brand with the same focus seen in its Blizzard Entertainment business unit. This will include a focus on high-margin digital online content and further[ing] the brand as the leading action entertainment franchise in new geographies, new genres and with new digital business models.' Ars opines that Activision is set to over-saturate the market with tons of CoD titles similar to how it expertly brought down Guitar Hero."
Kyle Hamilton writes "The Apache Software Foundation and the Apache HTTP Server Project are pleased to announce the release of version 1.3.42 of the Apache HTTP Server ('Apache'). This release is intended as the final release of version 1.3 of the Apache HTTP Server, which has reached end of life status There will be no more full releases of Apache HTTP Server 1.3. However, critical security updates may be made available."
The Opposable Thumbs blog is running an interesting article contrasting everything Activision did "wrong" in creating and marketing Modern Warfare 2 with the game's unqualified success. Despite price hikes, somewhat shady review practices, exploit frustrations, and the dedicated server fiasco, the game has raked in over a billion dollars in sales. "There was only one way to review Modern Warfare 2: on the Xbox 360, in Santa Barbara, under the watchful eye of Activision. Accepting the paid trip, along with room and board, was the only way you were going to get a review before launch. Joystiq noted that this broke their ethics policy, but they went anyway. Who can say no to a review destined to bring in traffic? Shacknews refused to call their coverage a 'review' because of the ethical issues inherent in the situation, but that stance was unique. The vast majority of news outlets didn't disclose how the review was conducted, or added a disclaimer after the nature of the review was made public. This proved to Activision that if you're big enough, you can dictate the exact terms of any review, and no ethics policy will make news outlets turn you down."
gimmebeer writes "The Russian Sukhoi SU-27 has a top speed of Mach 1.8 (more than 1,300 mph) and has a thrust to weight ratio greater than 1 to 1. That means it can accelerate while climbing straight up. It was designed to fight against the best the US had to offer, and now it can be yours for the price of a mediocre used business jet."
An anonymous reader passes along this quote from a report at 24/7 Wall St.: "There have been over 3 billion downloads since the inception of the App Store. Assuming the proportion of those that are paid apps falls in the middle of the Bernstein estimate, 17% or 510 million of these were paid applications. Based on our review of current information, paid applications have a piracy rate of around 75%. That supports the figure that for every paid download, there have been 3 pirated downloads. That puts the number of pirate downloads at 1.53 billion. If the average price of a paid application is $3, that is $4.59 billion dollars in losses split between Apple and the application developers. That is, of course, assuming that all of those pirates would have made purchases had the application not been available to them for free. This is almost certainly not the case. A fair estimate of the proportion of people who would have used the App Store if they did not use pirated applications is about 10%. This estimate yields about $459 million in lost revenue for Apple and application developers." A response posted at Mashable takes issue with some of the figures, particularly the 75% piracy rate. While such rates have been seen with game apps, it's unclear whether non-game apps suffer the same fate.
JamJam writes "Air Canada has been told to create a special 'buffer zone' on flights for people who are allergic to nuts. The Canadian Transportation Agency has ruled that passengers who have nut allergies should be considered disabled and accommodated by the airline. Air Canada has a month to come up with an appropriate section of seats where passengers with nut allergies would be seated. The ruling involved a complaint from Sophia Huyer, who has a severe nut allergy and travels frequently. Ms. Huyer once spent 40 minutes in the washroom during a flight while snacks were being served."
igrigorik writes "In the short span of just a couple of years, the Ruby VM space has evolved to more than just a handful of choices: MRI, JRuby, IronRuby, MacRuby, Rubinius, MagLev, REE and BlueRuby. Four of these VMs will hit 1.0 status in the upcoming year and will open up entirely new possibilities for the language — Mac apps via MacRuby, Ruby in the browser via Silverlight, object persistence via Smalltalk VM, and so forth. This article takes a detailed look at the past year, the progress of each project, and where the community is heading. It's an exciting time to be a Rubyist."
lbalbalba writes "Electronic Arts is shutting down its Westwood-based game developer Pandemic Studios just two years after acquiring it, putting nearly 200 people out of work. 'The struggling video game publisher informed employees Tuesday morning that it was closing the studio as part of a recently announced plan to eliminate 1,500 jobs, or 16% of its global workforce. Pandemic has about 220 employees, but an EA spokesman said that a core team, estimated by two people close to the studio to be about 25, will be integrated into the publisher's other Los Angeles studio, in Playa Vista.' An ex-developer for Pandemic attributed the studio's struggles to poor decisions from the management."